Kroger applies grocery rewards to its wireless division

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Supermarket chain owner The Kroger Co. announced December 15 that customers of its mobile phone service, i wireless, can convert rewards accumulated when purchasing groceries into wireless airtime. The initiative's goal is to increase loyalty for both of the company's arms.

"The Free Minutes rewards program empowers customers to directly influence the amount they spend each month on their wireless service. The more they shop at Kroger, the more they'll save on their wireless bill," said Paul McAleese, CEO of i wireless, in a statement.

The Kroger Co. operates the Ralph's, City Market, Smith's, Scott's, Hilander and Kroger chains.

I wireless is exclusively available at Kroger-owned stores. Subscribers to a monthly rate plan or a pay-as-you-go plan will receive 20 free minutes of airtime for every $100 they spend in-store. Customers are notified via text message of their reward as soon as it the company processes it after purchase. They can also earn an additional $1 discount toward their next monthly service fee for every $100 spent in-store on qualifying purchases.

A similar regional program launched locally near the company's Cincinnati headquarters earlier this year.

Kroger also began offering mobile coupons earlier this year.

Representatives for Kroger could not be immediately reached for comment.

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